Blue Cross Foundation Gives $1 Million in Grants to 20 Charities Statewide

Dec. 10, 2015

BATON ROUGE - Today the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation wraps its special 2015 Angels of Change grant program, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Angel Award® program. During the course of the year, the Foundation demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the health and safety of Louisiana’s children by awarding 20 grants of $50,000 to Angel Award recipients’ charities that need continued assistance.

Eligibility for the 20th anniversary grants program was open only to Louisiana-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that are affiliated with one of the 160-plus Angel Award honorees. The Foundation elected to fund innovative projects that improve children’s well-being by changing community policies, social norms and the physical environment. The Foundation evaluated each grant application based on community need, the impact on children, the initiation of new or innovative programs, and each project’s success in overcoming challenges and achieving goals. Grant applications were submitted by Feb. 28, 2015. After a careful selection process, the Foundation presented grants to organizations across the state with the last one presented today, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. 

The Angels of Change Grantees are (listed by area):

Baton Rouge Children’s Advocacy Center (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to provide individual and group therapy to more than 350 area children affected by violent crime and develop pilots to foster resiliency so children can navigate future situations. Supporting Angel: Sue Bernie, 2004

Big Buddy Program (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to form a Youth Development Resource Center, which will provide knowledge, professional development and data on child well-being in the Greater Baton Rouge community. Supporting Angels: Nancy Zito, 2014; Gaylynne Mack, 2012

Heritage Ranch (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to establish a scholarship fund for 40 families based on need, ensuring that families and children will be able to receive residential care, counseling and other treatment without concern for their ability to pay. Supporting Angel: Vicki Ellis, 2009

Louisiana Resource Center for Educators (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to develop its Reach for Success Camp that provides 250 students with highly-effective summer academic instruction and also serves as a training location for teachers seeking certification. Supporting Angel: Nancy Roberts, 1995

McMains Child Development Center (Baton Rouge) will use this grant to update and furnish its Inclusion House, a facility used to teach children with severe disabilities to take care of themselves so they may live independently. Supporting Angel: Albert Hindrichs, 2004

Volunteers of America (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to launch Partnerships in Child Care teaching 400+ families positive alternatives to dysfunctional parenting practices and encouraging healthy child-parent relationships. Supporting Angel: Virginia Pearson, 2002

Volunteers in Public Schools (Baton Rouge) will use the grant to pilot the Ready4K! literacy project that sends encouraging text messages to pre-k and kindergarten parents and to hold parent sessions to enhance their involvement in literacy development. Supporting Angels: Carolyn Carnahan, 2008

St. Nicholas Center for Children (Lake Charles) will use the grant to fund the purchase of video monitoring equipment used at the facility for autism-related applied behavior analysis therapy and to train others in providing this therapy. Supporting Angel: Christy Papania-Jones, 2010

Healing House (Lafayette) will use the grant to develop a pilot Anticipatory Grief Support Group for children and families preparing for the death of a loved one. The program helps process loss before it occurs, building resilience against challenges that children may face. Supporting Angel: Sarah Callaway Brabant, 2001

Hearts of Hope (Lafayette) will use the grant to conduct an outreach campaign to teach teens and families how best to use technology as a tool and how to avoid potential harms of under-age, non-consensual activity. Supporting Angels: Cory Hebert, 2007; Mary Moss, 2000

Cultural Crossroads of Minden (Minden) will use the grant to enroll 30 at-risk ninth and tenth graders in programming at "The Farm," a local agriculture and arts center. The 11-month program will help struggling youth find value and expression in art. Supporting Angels: Dee Scallan, 2010; Chris Broussard, 2008

Christopher Youth Center, formerly Our House (Monroe) will use the grant to pilot Youth Voices of Change, a social media-based intervention program, training a cohort of youth to engage with peers, sharing positive messages, identifying those in crisis and connecting them to adult supports. Supporting Angel: Carol Christopher, 2000

Pilots for Patients (Monroe) will use the grant to recruit more volunteer pilots and increase the number of free flights to specialized treatment facilities for patients in need. Supporting Angel: Phillip Thomas, 2009

A’s & Aces (New Orleans) will use the grant to teach more than 300 girls about healthy physical and social habits through its Empower and Serve Project and a series of curriculum tools. Supporting Angel: Anna Monhartova, 2010

Catholic Charities, Archdiocese of New Orleans (New Orleans) will use the grant to develop the Cornerstone Kids counseling and support program for children with at least one incarcerated parent, partnering children with mentors to help their families return to normal, healthy supports. Supporting Angel: Cory Howat, 2006

Children’s Health Fund (New Orleans) will use the grant to hire Spanish language staff and design a pilot screening tool for diagnosis and treatment of chronic health conditions for children in the Hispanic communities in Orleans and Jefferson parishes. Supporting Angels: Carlos Naranjo, 2013

New Orleans Women’s and Children’s Shelter (New Orleans) will use the grant to develop a child-centered case management system designed to support 100 children and their families, ensuring their health, education and living needs continue to be met. Supporting Angel: Jackie Silverman, 2014

Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (New Orleans) will use the grant to pilot an intensive mentorship and training program for 60 underserved students, empowering them to be more self-sufficient and able to speak for themselves and their communities. Supporting Angels: KG Marshall, 2010; Minh Nguyen 2009

Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport) will use the grant to provide healthy food for 160+ Shreveport area students and their families throughout the year through its Back Pack program. Supporting Angels: Dr. Phillip Rozeman, 2002; Isaac McFarland 2014

Louisiana Partnership for Children and Families (Statewide) will use the grant to publish and distribute the Platform for the Well Being of Louisiana's Children to candidates and media venues to solicit investment recommendations and evidence-based practices to improve outcomes. Supporting Angel: Stewart Gordon, 1997

“During the past 20 years, our Angels have played a vital role in the health and safety of our communities by addressing critical challenges for underserved children,” said Michael Tipton, Foundation president. “With our special Angels of Change grant program, we were able to provide much needed help to these Angels as they continue to make Louisiana a healthier place.”

Since 1995, the annual Angel Award program has recognized volunteers around the state who do extraordinary work to improve the lives of local children. The Foundation has provided more than $1.9 million in grants to the charities of nearly 170 Angel Award recipients throughout Louisiana. For more information about the Angel Award and the Angels of Change programs, please contact the Foundation at 1-888-219-BLUE (2583) or

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is building a healthier Louisiana through community outreach and charitable giving. In addition to the Angel Award, the Foundation operates the Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana, a collective-impact approach to improving healthy eating and active living in 12 communities across the state, and Smart Bodies®, a school-based interactive education program to prevent childhood obesity. Blue Cross also awards grants to nonprofits statewide that improve health, education and the overall quality of life in Louisiana communities. The Foundation is funded solely through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. For more information, visit

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private company, mutually owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We are an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to improving the health and lives of all Louisianians. With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents. We’re the only Louisiana insurer that offers plans in every parish. We also provide every customer with comprehensive wellness education, programs and services to help them live healthier lives. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, we have eight regional offices to serve our customers around the state.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is dedicated to transforming the healthcare industry in Louisiana into one that delivers high-quality health outcomes for our customers with top-notch service at more affordable costs. Our reputation for exceptional service and prompt payments, as well as the hard work of our 200+ in-house doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers and dietitians, keeps both customer and provider satisfaction high. Surveys by the Louisiana State Medical Society and the Louisiana Hospital Association consistently rank Blue Cross the best company providers do business with.

Blue Cross is deeply committed to the communities we serve. We invest both time and money in the health and wellbeing of Louisiana children by supporting more than 200 charitable organizations. We invite and encourage all Louisianians to visit our website or talk to us on social media through our online hub.